Meak Bochea celebrates the spontaneous visit of 1,250 monks to do homage to the Lord Buddha. The Buddha had retreated to Valuwan Vihara in the city of Rajagaha, whereupon 1,250 enlightened monks, the Buddha’s own disciples, converged without prior appointment or agreement.
The monks heard the Buddha lay down the Buddha’s three main principles: do good, abstain from bad actions, and purify the mind.
Meak Bochea happens on the full moon day of the third lunar month (Magha, corresponding to March on the Gregorian calendar). On this day, Buddhists celebrate Meak Bochea by joining candlelit processions within temples in their vicinity.